Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lesson #33: Perfect Birthday

It's not my birthday today. It's ADW's: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

This Sunday morning was a bit rough for me to get up... in fact, Sunday mornings are always tough for me to get up. I love sleeping in and since getting Buckingham, that's become a rarity. I'm lucky if I can sleep in till 9am. But upon getting outside, I see that the day is literally... perfect. The weather is comfortable with the sun out and just a few clouds scattered across the blue sky.

Despite having to get up early, Sunday mornings are always a treat to get up to Greyden; especially when the weather is clear. ADW is with me today and we get up being a bit late but since there's little traffic to fight, it's not a problem and we're not really limited. We get up in good time.

I'm riding Nikki and ADW is on our twisty friend Indy. Wanna know the best part about this mare? She's out in a paddock (I didn't post about my last Sunday riding her) but she was difficult to catch to come in. She gave Michelle a run for her money. And the paddock was small. Anyways... today I go out with some pellet food and she neighs when she sees me and actually walks over... as if she can already smell it. It's impressive, really. I'm not fooling myself to believe this little Connemara cross actually likes me, because she usually is rather mareish and I don't think she really likes anyone unless you're a carrot or another kind of treat.

This morning, Lenka is teaching us. A slightly different style than Sheri but another style of the same thing, none-the-less. We work on our gaits and 20-50 m circles. These circles require a great deal of precision... well, that's not entirely true. It only feels that way because we don't do them often. The smaller the circle, the tougher it is, to do. I would say that balance and precision are both factors which still escape me.

We work on getting our heels down by practicing the 2-point position during trot and interestingly enough, it comes quickly once you stretch yourself for it. We continue to work on trotting through seated trot or regular trot. Then Lenka has us do an exercise of figure 8s in the large lumpy circles style; versus the hourglass shape. She reminds us that these circles need to be relatively the same size as one another and that we are not to cut the corners, despite what the horse wants to do. The first try Nikki is not immediately responsive so I give her a smack too and she bolts forward into a pony trot. *siiiigh* and there I am holding on for life and probably looking like a darned sack of potatoes. Try again and remember to slow her down to tell her what YOU want her to do, says Lenka. This time, it works much better. I manage to slow her down and the seated and posting trot are much better.

We move onwards to the canter. Internally, I dread the canter on Nikki because she actually tends to do the fast pony trot before getting into the canter. It's either I have no idea what I"m doing, or she's just taking advantage of the situation--either one: I am not fond of the outcome! Her canter is fine to ride but getting her going into it is a real pain in the butt. I go back to the sack of potatoes ontop while pitching forward and losing proper alignment. It's incredible how little it takes to frazzle me up there. She even tries these deeks to the right rein while we're moving and because I'm still trying to collect myself, I often can't keep up with her and my body has to catch up with her! What a total mess.

Eventually, something clicks momentarily and she gets going enough to actually canter for me in a full circle. Hurray! My next goal is going to be to skip that pony trot and get into the canter....

Our lessons end after a few more tries of this and ADW and I head out for the day. I tell him I want to check out the Caledon Equestrian Park again (we went last weekend and it was a Dressage Show but it was rainy). When we get there, we see that they have another show this weekend but there look like there are jumpers too. One of the rings have these HUGE jumps and we see a horse sail over. It's incredible to watch in person--really. These huge sport horses that are probably a minimum of 16 HH seem to stroll into the jumps and then tuck their limbs underneath and become this meatloaf that sails through the air and effortlessly land. It's equally impressive that their riders are capable of staying balanced enough through the entire motion and continue to go forward. We watch a few of these jumpers (I'm not sure if it's a hunter-jumper or just a jumper class) and call it a day.

When we get into the car, a large truck pulls in and I a familiar logo on the side of the door and think, wouldn't it be funny if that's J and Sheri. And what do you know! It is J and Sheri! What an unexpected coincidence!!! We say hi and tell them that we were there watching the show and having lunch and were on our way home. They had come in, to see the Grand Prix class coming up so we wish them a good day and head on home.

Hopefully we can make another trip to the Equestrian Park to watch another show. I had a lot of fun actually physically being able to witness some of these finely honed athletes just do their thing and look so poised.


  1. we also had a tasty banquet burger at the park and a really tasty cream soda on the way home. mmmmmmmmm!

    1. but an awesome birthday with my favourite things!

  2. Hooray for spending birthdays with your favourite people and things! So glad it was a good one :D

    1. and he had literally the best weather the whole day ever! this one day made up the hail on mother's day and the below 0 temps in may...

    2. Thanks amber! It was a great one!